Advice on life direction in early 20's. Some advice would be greatly appreciated.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by placidity44, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. placidity44 macrumors 6502

    placidity44

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #1
    I graduated high school and immediately went to college. I worked extremely hard my first semester and wasn't interested or learning anything. I was a computer science major but I was taking religious studies, economics, art, etc. I really struggled socially as I never left my house in high school just focusing on building computers, jailbreaking iOS devices. My idea of a good time was going to a best buy playing with various types of technology for hours on end.

    My interest in technology became an obsession, as did my love for NFL football. I left college after my first semester because I didn't socialize with anybody and I wasn't learning anything. I always knew I wanted to do something with technology I just didn't know what. I had it pounded in my head during high school that people who don't go to college are failures which made me proceed to go back the following summer only online. I stopped again because I wasn't learning a thing. Lucky for me I have under 4k in student loan debt.

    Here I am a year and a half later and i'm just trying to find my way. I read a good 13 hours a day about technology, whether or not god exists, origins of the universe, theoretical ideas such as multiverses, and sports. I feel extremely envious over people who socialize, party, etc and excel in school without their mind wandering on and on and on about things. I'm on iTunes U reading about topics that interest me to a point of obsession trying to figure out what it is I want to do when it comes to technology.

    I want to work for myself in some way, shape, or form with technology. I've always been petrified of driving and would love to work remotely at home providing a service of some kind. I'll have one idea, analyze it all day everyday until I find something wrong. I think and think and think and it's getting me nowhere.

    I'm looking for small technological services you can provide from home is where i'm getting at. I love everything about technology except for software development. I had gotten proficient in python but found programming incredibly dull. I just want to do my own thing and put my passion and obsessiveness into something I love doing. Happiness is all that matters to me, but i'd like to be able to support myself on my efforts. Other than my Apple gadgets I'd like to live as simply as I can. I don't care about cars, houses, having a girlfriend, etc.

    I've talked about stuff like this in therapy and didn't get anywhere in two years even being compliant and doing everything they said. I feel a strong existential void that I believe is doing ok for myself and just living. Some outsider train of thought from a couple people would be great. Anything. Thought's, anything at all that might be useful or helpful. Don't worry about hurting my feelings just be honest. Just thought i'd post this and maybe it'd be productive. Thank you so much.
     
  2. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #2
    In my opinion, something you'll absolutely need for the rest of your life (and you seem to be lacking) is interpersonal skills. For that, you should get out of your comfort zone (really!).

    A few ideas:

    Take a gap year. Travel. Work in odd jobs. You'll only live your twenties once in your life, so make them count. Get away from technology for six months or one year, and get some IRL experience. Really, have a smartphone for emergencies, and that's it. Working in completely unrelated small jobs in your early 20s is not inherently negative, it'll allow you to fund your travels, and bring some important depth to your character. Let's be honest: someone who thinks and talks only about tech is... dull. If I were in a hiring position and had two candidates with the same experience and education, but one were 1 year older because he took one gap year at some point to travel around South East Asia or bicycling across the US, he'd be the one I'd find much more interesting (all other things being equal, of course). Yes, it takes some balls to get out and make the first steps, but planning beforehand can help a lot: couchsurfing, etc.
    I did some traveling years ago, and those experiences I wouldn't trade for anything.

    Do some sports. It helps a lot with mental well being. Just hiking, running, etc. Being outside helps a lot too (keep in mind I'm typing this on my couch, ha!)

    Learn to drive, buy a clunker, and take a road trip in the wilderness. If not, take the bus. Driving is important, and it's normal to be terrified, but taking on responsibilities is a part of growing up.

    Because I don't forget where your interests reside, consider getting your degree in CS through UoPeople. Not as reputable as a regular Brick and Mortar college, but you won't get into debt, and it'll still be valuable, assuming you have some work experience.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    From the sounds of your post, it doesn't appear that you are working full time (reading 13 hours a day).

    So I'd first look first at working full time. I think getting a full time job interacting with people in an office situation (even if you start off at an entry level position) will give you an appreciation of college. Plus it will help you interact with people.

    Also consider joining a computer club where you'll interact with other folks who share the same interests.

    You mentioned taking religious classes, have you considered joining a church. Many churches have activities outside of their worship services.

    My point is to find activities and people that bring you outside and interact.

    As someone with extremely limited experience, no degree (yet), you will not find any position that offer the option to work from home.

    I think without knowing you, as mentioned you need to get out and interact with humanity, its a beautiful world out there, whether you hike the Appalachians or visit the volcanos in Hawaii. Life is too short to live it inside away from everyone.
     
  4. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Try finding a different therapist that's a better fit (and/or psychiatrist). If you give them a fair shot and realize you're not going anywhere, find someone new... Preferably before 2 years. There are also programs out there to help people brush up on interpersonal skills. Many people with that problem have poor confidence, which can be resolved in multiple ways.

    Joining clubs are a great way to do things that interest you, meet people, socialize, and spend your time.

    It seems very possible you could have some anxiety and depression affecting you... Not unheard of someone your age, it's a stressful time especially if you don't know what you want to do in life. There is a lot of pressure for you to decide what you want to do, still a lot of pressure to "fit in", and tons of pressure to be successful. Anx/dep can affect your sociability, motivation, decisiveness, etc.

    I think you should be honest with yourself and see if these factors are affecting you and if you feel they're affecting your life.
     
  5. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #5
    You didn't learn anything; you didn't learn anything; you didn't learn anything. Why? Surely you didn't know everything already.

    You want to do your own thing. What ever does that mean?

    You like technology. Uh huh, that's a vacuous statement.

    All I'm really getting from you are that you have serious social anxiety problems and perhaps some others that are interfering with your ability to figure out your interests and a direction. I'm not a therapist, and your old one clearly didn't work out. But I suspect you need one. The Internet is not a substitute for therapy.
     
  6. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #6
    OP.

    You sound like a typical 20-something in many respects, but it also sounds like you need some additional help, you tried that avenue, it's not working, maybe additional help from a new provider (psych/therapist/etc).

    I did want to touch on this comment:

    I work from home (reasonably successfully), I'm pretty passionate about technology (have been since before it was "hip"), I'm a developer (architect/writer), and I find it very engaging, not because of the tools, but because of the results. :)

    I'm curious what services you think you could provide (in a legitimate professional capacity), from home, that's not development. If you're into "tinkering" with tech, cool, that's fun, I've got a Pi I've been goofing around with, but you have to realize it's not a career to simply read [lightweight] tech blogs and regurgitate that information on a message board, or Jailbreak an iPhone, that's a hobby.


    You might come to realize (or need to have that realization), that your happiness might be improved by things you _think_ you don't need. :)
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #7
    For the OP-
    It sounds like you are introverted, however, you have to know who you are, and know how much socializing you really want. You might not have it, think you want it, but maybe it's not all that you imagine it to be once you gain it or maybe it's more work than it's worth (for you). However, it's safe to say we all need some level of human interaction.

    When I was single, I usually had 2 or 3 friends I've never like large groups. Since being married for 30+ years, I have acquaintances, but have no close friends because it's not what I've chosen, but this is who I am based on my situation. The key is to know what you want, and who you are, and if necessary, a therapist might help you discover or clarify this and what you want out of life.

    I know that college can feel like a big impersonnal landscape. You have to go find the nitch where you fit in. If you are shy and introverted, don't plan on someone snatching you out of your closet. You must have the courage to venture out.

    And honestly as someone who knew what they wanted to do at age 9, I can't imagine anything more difficult than not knowing what you want, *but* it sounds like technology is your interest, and can I assume you are mechanically inclined? If so this is the area you want to explore. Easy for me to say, but you have to determine the goal and then set a path towards that goal. If you can't do this, you'll wander and may eventually stumble upon something you like, but maybe not. The more proactive you are in this regards, the better.

    Social interaction opportunities can be found at work, at special interest groups (like a computer programming club) or (although I'm not a church person) even at church. If shy and introverted, make a real effort to break through your shell, not by being wild and crazy, but figure out who you might have common interests with and take a chance with a little conversation. :)
     
  8. Ingster macrumors 6502

    Ingster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #8
    Reading between the lines you could turn your post on it's head to state that you are a 20 something who feels that the world owes everything to you just for being born, and you should be able to get paid an extortionate amount of money for 'tinkering' with technology but not actually creating anything useful, oh and you have to do it in your own home never speak to anyone, never have to learn anything from anyone because you know everything. You just don't want to do boring stuff.

    What i think is that you've got to get out of your comfort zone, NOW!

    Go back to college and actually listen to the tutors, they do actually know stuff, you may know everything from year 1, but what about year 2 and 3 where you may scratch below the surface of what you actually know.

    Try to socialize - if talking to people face to face is difficult why not try talking to people via interfaces in games like world of warcraft - initially chatting via typing then joining a guild and eventually talking on voice chat, then things might go further and you may do a meet up, it's better sometimes with social anxiety to get to know a person before you meet them, my old guild did a meet up and even though we all looked different from what people thought we looked like we just connected easily. But don't get hooked too deep into things like warcraft, set times perhaps a few hours in an evening is wow time, then head onto something else.

    You may have to have a work life that isn't awesome, believe it or not it's a small majority of people get to do a job they love 100% of the time, me I love my job 50% of the time and hate it the other, why? politics, budgets, managers, stress etc. unfortunately that's what work is like.

    Now the driving thing - well it isn't for everyone but a lot of jobs especially in the technology field will need you to drive places, some you can get to by public transport but not everywhere.

    Hopefully the posts here will help you realize that out there in the real world is a much better place than being locked away in your room, what's the point reading about the origins of the universe if you don't want to explore our tiny corner of it?
     
  9. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #9
    Judging from your post and your signature, you live with your parents, correct? You need to get out of your comfort zone, see the world. Where do you live? Have you ever visited another country by yourself?

    Also, first year or semester of college doesn't learn anything new anyway.
     
  10. 321estrellas macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #10
    Didn't read the above responses, so pardon any repeated advice.

    Stay in school. Take courses that you enjoy like computer science. If you "aren't learning anything" then either you're bored and not listening, or you know it already. If it's the latter, then you're set. Finish school, graduate, get a job, make money, and buy all the technology you want! If it's the former...well that's something you'll have to learn to adapt to. I'm not saying you're an automatic failure for not staying in school, but finishing will take you a long way.

    Like tinkering with stuff at Best Buy? Why not get paid to do it? Apply for a job there (or other tech stores) and use your passion to help out customers. It'll give you social experience too. It may be hard at first if you're introverted but you might surprise yourself that talking about something you're passionate about will help with your conversations (just don't talk down on people saying "you're stupid if you buy that" or "don't you know anything about technology?")

    Cut down your 13-hour reading time. It's good to read, but you need to balance you're time with the things I mentioned above.

    Stop thinking (or...do less of it)....and start DOING!

    Life these days is rough to get by. Not everyone enjoys school or talking with customers, but education and experience will make all the difference shaping up your future.
     
  11. placidity44 thread starter macrumors 6502

    placidity44

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #11
    I'm really grateful for all of the feedback. The common theme seems to be I need to get out of my comfort zone and socialize a bit. Maybe if I talk to someone, get out a bit, and maybe take a class or two to start out sounds like a good start. I'm really grateful for all of the constructive feedback. I'm just going to stay positive and try to do something constructive every day and just improve. I think talking to people, networking, working around people a bit would go a long way. I just need to tell myself you have to go from A-B-C and I can't just skip life from A-Z. Really can't thank everyone enough for being constructive, helpful, and not judgemental. Really grateful.
     
  12. 321estrellas macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #12
    Continue to follow this mindset throughout your path and you'll do just fine. Good luck!

    PS. If you can skip life from A-Z, then B-Y is called winning the lottery. And we all know we can't just do that :)
     
  13. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #13
    I started to answer you this morning, but I'm glad I waited a bit.

    It would be great if we could sick with the parts of life that we are passionate about and avoid the rest. And everyone of us will tell you there are things that we deal with every day that we don't enjoy. I'm a world class procrastinator. If I don't want to do it, it will get put off until I can't put it off anymore. Then you add my social anxiety - I was always last in line for speeches in class. But you know, if I just suck it up and get it done, it's usually not that bad. College taught me that.

    There's something else I learned in college. There is a lot more to learn from someone than what they teach in the classroom. I have a large number of former classmates and professors that I now call mentors, colleagues, and friends. A few of them continue to teach me things and for a few, the rolls have reversed. I bring this up because you will need these people to help you find your path, show you what's possible, and sometimes help you over an obstacle. Not all these people will you meet in college, but that will be the foundation of your network.

    Since you like to read, I might suggest the book "Do Over" by John Acuff. He outlines the four parts of the "career savings account" or what you need to get where you want to go. He has a couple other books - "Start" might be worth reading as well.
     
  14. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #14
    Give your parents a hug, thank them, and tell them that you love them. If you were my child and dropped out of college twice and didn't have a job you wouldn't be living at home anymore let alone the just ~4k of tech listed in your sig. Why not try the peace corps, americorps, or the military then you not to big for your britches try college again it took me until my early 30's to want to go back again after dropping out at 20.
     
  15. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #15
    You are just like someone I know who said he's going to music school because he loves playing the guitar.

    You can now find him on youtube making "how to" lessons from his parents basement.

    There's a difference between work and hobby. Good luck finding your way.
     
  16. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #16
    luckily i learned this 1/2 thru my freshman year of college. my dreams of being a rockstar have been dashed and I just have to settle for an md/phd now :(
     
  17. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #17
    luckily i learned this 1/2 thru my freshman year of college. my dreams of being a rockstar have been dashed and I just have to settle for an md/phd now :(
     
  18. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #18
    Pft, MD/PhD? Hieveryone thinks very poorly of you now.
     
  19. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #19
    Good for you bud. I always knew I wanted to make tons of money. That kept me sober in my career goals. If your goal is money, you won't get lost.

    You can blame MTV Cribs haha!
     
  20. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #20
    I'm guessing the OP wants to hear something along the lines of him being like Steve Jobs. In his Stanford speech he mentions dropping out because he didn't like his classes and didn't find them interesting etc and pursued what he loved. The rest is history.

    The reality is for every Steve Jobs there are a million Steve Jobs wannabes.

    Think of it like breaking billboard. For every artist on there, there's many more failed ones.
     
  21. placidity44 thread starter macrumors 6502

    placidity44

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #21
    No it's not like that at all. I just want to find my way and be happy and healthy. That is all.
     
  22. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #22
    That's fine. You and 7 billion people on this earth want to be happy and healthy. Most of them have to do things they would rather not do to be happy and healthy (getting a job and working in order to support themselves and buy healthcare)
     
  23. Xteec macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    I wrote this massive thing for the OP but I thought about it, realised I was giving myself therapy and deleted it. :)

    What I will say instead is this:

    Being healthy is two parts, taking care of yourself (exercise and eating); and preparing for bad luck. To prepare for bad luck you need money (health insurance, savings, a social welfare state, etc). So 1 point for having money.

    I don't know the secret to happiness, I only know it's diff for diff people. However, I do know what leads to un-happiness: being broke. So don't be broke. That's 2 points for having money.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying go Gordon Gecko and money money money. I'm just saying, having a decent level of income is important to at least NOT BE unhappy. And being not unhappy, is probably the first step to being happy.

    So you need money, but you don't want to work for someone. Well, nobody does. But, if you're set on that, then bye bye easy path to money (note I said money, not riches).

    To make your own money, start your own business, you have to understand how business works. And the best and cheapest way to do that (without losing all your own money) is to learn some economics and marketing and work a job and question why why why things are done that way in a business. And if the answer to your question is about someone being stupid/****/etc...then you're not questioning deep enough. Once you're able to analyse the way a business works at a deep level...then it's probably time to sink your own money into one...and by then you'll hopefully have some ideas on what kind of business you want to do.
     
  24. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #24
    Do you currently work?
     
  25. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #25
    Pretty sure what @Hieveryone is saying is that if you want to be successful you'll have to pay your dues one way or another.
     

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